UN Commission Finds Crimes Against Humanity in Sudan; Urges International Court Action
A United Nations-appointed commission released a report earlier this week that found that the pattern of atrocities in the Sudan did not constitute acts of genocide committed by the government, but instead found the government guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes. The commission is urging the Security Council to refer the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC), instead of an ad hoc tribunal like the United States is proposing. While the commission did not find evidence of an organized governmental act of genocide, it did state that it is up to a competent court to decide if there is evidence of government officials committing acts with “genocidal intent.”
The commission’s report documents atrocities committed primarily against Darfur’s black African tribes. The commission charged the Sudanese government and the Janjaweed (Arab militia) of committing murder, torture, kidnapping, rape, forced displacement and the destruction of villages, reports the Washington Post. More than 70,000 people have been killed due to the violence and more than 1.8 million have been driven from their homes.
The United Nations, European governments, human rights and women’s rights advocates want the case in Darfur to be brought before the ICC. The ICC identifies gender crimes as crimes against humanity. Ninety-four countries have fully ratified the treaty establishing the ICC. The United States is currently the only industrialized country that has not signed the treaty due to its fear that Americans could be tried before it.
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .